Tag Archives: AJ McCarron

Coaching staff names captains, other postseason awards

As the Alabama Crimson Tide football team gathered in Birmingham for its annual banquet to not only celebrate its SEC Championship and season as a whole, but also to receive confirmation that the Tide will be playing Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship, there were also some personal awards to give out.

Offensive lineman Barrett Jones, offensive lineman Chance Warmack and defensive lineman Damion Square were named team captains and will have their hand and footprints planted in cement near Denny Chimes at A-Day in 2013.

Here is a list of the other awards and the players who received them.

cj Most Valuable Player

Linebacker C.J. Mosley. Mosley led the team in tackles by a longshot with 99, towering above Trey Depriest, who is in second with 56. Mosley also tied the school record for career defensive touchdowns, with three. Mosley’s interception and 16-yard touchdown return against Michigan was his third, tying the mark set by Antonio Langham (1990-1993).

Iron Man Award

Running back T.J. Yeldon, kicker Cade Foster, H-Back Kelly Johnson and defensive lineman Jesse Williams.

tink Unsung Hero Award

Wide receiver Kenny Bell, defensive lineman Quinton Dial, long snapper Carson Tinker (pictured left, 51), linebacker Xzavier Dickson and place kicker Jeremy Shelley (pictured left, 5).

Outstanding Scholar Senior Award

Barrett Jones and Chance Warmack.

Outstanding Defensive Performer Award

C.J. Mosley and cornerback Dee Milliner

Up-Front Award

Defensive lineman Jeoffrey Pagan, defensive lineman Ed Stinson, offensive lineman Cyrus Kouandjio and offensive lineman Anthony Steen.

Most Inspiring Player

Damion Square

Commitment to Academic Excellence Award

Linebacker Denzel Devall, cornerback Geno Smith, offensive lineman D.J. Fluker, Quinton Dial and offensive lineman Arie Kouandjio

haha Defensive Achievement Award

Linebacker Adrian Hubbard, cornerback Deion Belue, safety HaHa Clinton-Dix (pictured right returning his interception in the SEC Championship game), and linebacker Trey DePriest

Offensive Achievement Award

Wide receiver Amari Cooper, running back Eddie Lacy, T.J. Yeldon and offensive lineman D.J. Fluker

President’s Award

Jesse Williams, safety Robert Lester, Chance Warmack and wide receiver Kevin Norwood

Special Teams Award

Safety Vinnie Sunseri, punter Cody Mandell, wide receiver/punt returner Christion Jones, safety Landon Collins

Defensive Players of the Year

Linebacker Nico Johnson and Dee Milliner

barrett-aj Offensive Players of the Year

Quarterback AJ McCarron and Barrett Jones (pictured together, left)

Pat Trammell Award

Tight end Michael Williams and Nico Johnson

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All photos courtesy of the AP

AJ McCarron Award Watch

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron’s redshirt junior season has yet to be deemed a successful one by him, as the national championship has yet to be claimed for the Crimson Tide, but many others have taken those duties for him.

After being included in the Heisman Trophy talks for several weeks, McCarron has been named a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (pictured left) and the Manning Award.

News to him.

U“I didn’t even know that until you just told me,” McCarron said.

Now that McCarron does know, he probably will think about it just as much as he did before he was aware: none.

“I don’t think it’s a distraction at all,” McCarron said. “If anything it shows how great my teammates are. This is a game, it doesn’t matter how many individual awards there are, even the Heisman Trophy. It’s not an individual award, as much as people try to make it to be. If you didn’t have your teammates none of that would be possible.

“Being blessed enough to be put into those finalists for all those awards, like I said it’s truly a blessing but like I said none of it’s possible without my teammates. I give them all the thanks and all the praise.”

McCarron is a finalist with the following players for his three awards.

Unitas: Kansas State’s Collin Klein, USC’s Matt Barkley, West Virginia’s Geno Smith and Florida State’s E.J. Manuel.

ajAndrew Luck of Stanford won the award  last season. One Alabama quarterback has won the award, Jay Barker in 1994.

Manning: Barkley, Klein, Smith, Clemson’s Tajh Boyd, Jordan Lynch of North Illinois, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, Ohio State’s Braxton Miller and Georgia’s Aaron Murray.

Coaching Staff Players of the Week: Iron Bowl

The Alabama coaching staff has selected eight player for Player of the Week for the week of the 49-0 win in the Iron Bowl over Auburn.

Offense: AJ McCarron, Eddie Lacy, Amari Cooper and Barrett Jones. McCarron threw four touchdowns on 15-for-21 passing and 2aj16  yards. Lacy became the 16th Alabama running back with a 1,000 yard season with his 131 yards on 18 carries. Lacy also scored two touchdowns. Cooper caught five passes, two of them for touchdowns, and 109 yards. This is Cooper’s third 100-yard receiving game of the season as a true freshman. Jones was also named the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week and, accoring to UA, did not miss an assignment against Auburn.

Defense: Robert Lester and Jeoffrey Pagan. Lester intercepted one pass on his Senior Day and returned it for 31 yards. He also led the team with five tackles, four of them solo. Pagan had three tackles, 1.5 for a loss and one sack.

Special Teams: Landon Collins and Reggie Ragland. Collins makes it two weeks in a row as being named a special teams players of the week with his two tackles and one punt downed inside the 20. Fellow true freshman Reggie Ragland recorded three assisted tackles on special teams, one inside the 20.

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AP photo

Information Overload: Texas A&M

Tie at the Top: With Alabama’s 21-17 win over LSU and Boise State’s 21-19 loss to San Diego State last week, the two schools are now tied for the most wins since the beginning of the 2008 season, with 57. Boise State will try to keep with the Tide when it plays Hawaii this Saturday.

10 the Magic Number?: Alabama has held its opponents to 10 or fewer points 38 times in the Nick Saban era, 50 percent of the time. Texas A&M has not been held to less than 10 points since the blackshirts of Nebraska did it in November of 2010, before head coach Kevin Sumlin brought his explosive offense to College Station.

AJ for Heisman: The numbers suggest that Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron needs to check the mail every day, as an invitation to New York City may be en route. McCarron now has 38 career touchdown passes, 4th in Alabama history and only one behind Greg McElroy’s 39. Brodie Croyle is in second with 41 and John Parker Wilson is in the lead with 47.

McCarron is also one touchdown away from tying McElroy’s single-season school record for touchdown passes in a season, with 20. He is also expanding on his school record of attempts without an interception, now at 289. He is only 36 attempts behind the SEC record, held by Andre Woodson of Kentucky.

Back to the history books: Alabama and Texas A&M have met four times throughout their history, with the Tide holding a 3-1 advantage in those meetings. The Aggies took the 1968 Cotton Bowl while Alabama took the 1942 Cotton Bowl and both games of a home-and-home played in Birmingham in 1985 and College Station in 1988.

Respect Thy Opponent: Before the game, the University of Alabama will honor some players that played for legendary Alabama coach Paul “Bear” Bryant while he was at Texas A&M. Some of those players have Alabama ties of their own, including Darwin Holt, who played at both schools, and Gene Stallings, who coached the Tide to its 1992 national championship.

The Longhorn State in Bryant-Denny: In Bryant-Denny Stadium, Alabama is 9-2 against teams that hail from the state of Texas. Alabama’s 0-2 slate in Tuscaloosa against TCU muddies its 4-0 record against North Texas and 5-0 record against Houston. Texas A&M’s last visit to the state to play Alabama was played at Legion Field in Birmingham, not in Tuscaloosa.

Strength v. Strength:  Alabama has a nasty habit of not allowing many players to have offensive success against it, while Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel has done nothing but. Alabama’s defense has not given up 300 total yards of offense to one player since Ryan Mallett accounted for 350 against Alabama in 2010 (Mallett also threw three interceptions, two in the fourth quarter, to lose the game). It was Nov. 3, 2001 the last time Alabama gave up 400 total yards of offense to an individual, when the Tide gave Rohan Davey of LSU 540 yards.

Manziel, however, is averaging roughly 383 yards of total offense per game and is reeling after accounting for 440 yards of total offense on the road against Mississippi State last week.

Also, the Aggies have scored over 50 points four times this season, twice finding themselves with over 60 points. Alabama has not given up 50 points since the Tennessee Volunteers put 51 on Alabama in 2003. The media guide says Alabama has not given up 60 points, but notes Vanderbilt scored 78 points on Alabama in 1908.

From Enemy Territory: Alabama has had success recruiting from the state of Texas and taking players out of one of the nation’s most deep talent pools. Chad Lindsey, reserve offensive lineman; Alec Morris, reserve quarterback; Damion Square, starting defensive lineman; DeAndrew White, injured starting wide receiver; and Cade Foster, starting kicker, all hail from the state of Texas.

Off on the right foot: Texas A&M has scored first in all nine of its games so far this season.

All on the toss: The Aggies are 6-2 after losing the coin toss, while 1-0 when winning the toss. This is your Useless Stat of the Day. Enjoy.

AJ McCarron Interview Video: Nov. 7, 2012

McCarron has more power in the offense

McCarron more calm in Death Valley than at practice

Practice makes perfect. If you can’t get it right in practice, you won’t get it right in the game. Practice is indicative of success in games. You know the drill.

When the lights are on, the pressure higher and the crowd on-site, when everything is more difficult, the practice saves you.

Or maybe it’s the other way around in the Nick Saban camp.

Quarterback AJ McCarron, who put together a 4-for-5, 72 yard performance on Alabama’s game-winning drive in Death Valley, may have had it easier in Baton Rouge than he does in the friendly confines of the Alabama practice facility.

“Probably, because you don’t have Saban yelling, ‘Let’s go!’,” McCarron said. It gives you a little more time. I felt comfortable the whole time.”

Practice, especially when the two-minute portion of each Thursday practice begins, is a hotly-contested affair.

“It’s just fun,” McCarron said. “You get to go out against one of the top defenses in the country in every category, get to go up against some of the crazy blitzes Coach Saban and Coach Smart come up with. It makes you a better player.”

Although there is no scoreboard at the practice facility, the competitive flavor is not lost.

A thought lingers out that the offense wins about 50 percent of the situations Saban puts them in practice, in which the time left on the clock, number of timeouts left, spot on the field and what’s needed to win or tie variate.

“Maybe a little less than that,” linebacker C.J. Mosley said. “Every Thursday, we do our two-minute drill with the offense. Either they need a touchdown or a field goal to score. And coach gives them like a minute thirty, minute fifteen, one timeout, two timeouts. Just different scenarios.

“And when we get in that situation, everybody turns – it’s like a game. We try our best to stop them from scoring. Sometimes they get plays, sometimes we get our plays.”

Saban said he is, for the most part, happy when the offense finds a way to score in practice.

McCarron isn’t so sure.

“Sometimes, probably,” McCarron said after a brief chuckle in disbelief. “Sometimes, you’re like, ‘Uh, I kind of wish we didn’t score right there.

“You know Coach Saban. He’s going to dislike something in every drive.”

After countless repetitions of the drill in practice, performing when everything was on the line was no big feat for McCarron. In a way, he found a way to put more pressure on himself.

“I told the guys if we complete the first pass, we’ll win the ball game,” he said. “When I completed the first pass, the line turned around and looked back at me and was like, ‘Alright, let’s go.’”